100m+ copies of Minecraft have been sold, and today the game sells 53k+ copies A DAY.
Who the hell is still buying Minecraft?
And I don’t mean that in a “Minecraft sucks!” way, because it’s a great game/tool, but in a “how do you not already own Minecraft?” way. The game is huge amount young children, especially on mobile, but are there really 53k+ young gamers maturing daily to finally buy and play some Minecraft? Seems unlikely…
The bigger point here though, as it relates to MMOs, is that this is a very important date point related to the “Everyone who wanted to play WoW already has it” talking point and how it relates to the failures of the game from WotLK and beyond. Minecraft has a much larger user base than WoW, yet it’s still attracting a horde of new players daily, so why do some people think WoW is a special snowflake and had/has tapped out the market?
Spoiler: It never did, it just got progressively worse as a game, to the point that it stopped growing and then started to shrink. If tomorrow Microsoft released an update like WotLK to Minecraft, and then followed it up with a Cata-style release, Minecraft wouldn’t be moving 53k+ copies a day, and it wouldn’t be because finally everyone that wanted Minecraft got it.
The same applies to any game. If LoL gets significantly worse tomorrow, it will stop growing. If CCP improves EVE significantly, that game will return to growth. In an age of digital marketplaces and the ability to upgrade a game as time goes on, the biggest factor in a games growth or decline is simply the quality of the product. And not just the quality at release or at time X, but the sustained quality of the product itself and its pace/quality of updates.
We also see plenty of this in Early Access games. Take a game like Darkest Dungeon for instance. At the start of its EA, it was a solid offering, though somewhat limited. As it developed, it got consistently better and better, without any major missteps. The result? A successful EA game that was also very successful once released.
We are a long time past the age of 95% of your sales happening in the first month, and then your box being moved off a store shelf and that being that for your game. Good games can get worse (WoW), rough starts can be fixed/salvaged (FFXIV), and sustained quality can result in sustained success (EVE).
Game a good game, support it well, and you profit. What a crazy world we live in!
Side notes because they are somewhat related to the topic:
The hotbar salesman has managed to pork Dungeon Boss. I knew it was only a matter of time before the idiocy of selling hotbars in an MMO translated to something equally dumb in the mobile space, and here it is. (Yes, I know there is like a 2% chance this change wasn’t the idea of the hotbar salesman, but shhh you)
Also it looks like Darkfall: Unholy War is offline? Such a DF move to just suddenly go offline and instead of outright admitting the party is over (or you know, announcing a shut-down date well in advance), the dev still puts out some ‘hope it comes back soon’ message. DF being DF even past the bitter end. God how far that whole thing fell from being a gem in the MMO space to a trainwreck.